YEREVAN, DECEMBER 29, ARMENPRESS. The President of the Republic of Armenia, Vahagn Khachaturyan, has signed a decree appointing Mkhitar Hayrapetyan as Minister of High-tech Industry, the Presidential Office said.
According to another presidential decree, Robert Khachatryan has been relieved from the post of Minister of High-tech Industry.
BAKU: Azerbaijan on Thursday said that it is closely monitoring the arms purchases and sales between Armenia and India.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, in a press conference, stated that India’s official stance is that arms sales to Armenia are not connected to Azerbaijan’s friendly relations with Turkey and Pakistan.
He said that India needs to consider the historical context and not view this as a purely commercial venture. There was a factor of occupation [of Azerbaijani lands] here for a long time, and the war is now over.
Bayramov underscored the pivotal moment of post-war peace and the responsibility to avoid arms deals that might empower revanchist forces in Armenia.
Bayramov concluded by urging entities seeking a broader presence in the region to recognize these realities and foster positive agendas.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy lacks "will to peace."
Speaking in an interview with Russian state news agency TASS, Lavrov pointed out that the Ukrainian authorities speak only about war and use aggressive rhetoric.
"Any cease-fire is out of the question (for the Ukrainian authorities). The ban on negotiations with the Russian leadership, established by Zelenskyy on Sept. 30, 2022, continues to be in effect. Draw your own conclusions," he said.
Lavrov admitted that recent events in the Middle East shifted the focus from Ukraine, however, "inflicting a strategic defeat on Russia" continues to be one of the West's top priorities.
"The so-called Ramstein format continues to function, in which representatives of more than 50 countries discuss Kyiv's requests for military equipment and ammunition on a monthly basis," he said, referring to meetings at the US airbase in Germany.
"Neither Washington nor Brussels refuses to provide assistance to the Kyiv regime, realizing that without it, it is doomed. They are still vitally interested in holding back Russia with the hands and bodies of Ukrainians."
The West has provided unprecedented humanitarian, economic and military support to Ukraine, where Russia launched a "special military operation" in February 2022. The backing, however, is said to be waning amid internal political disputes and fiscal challenges.
Turning to the issue of arms control, the minister blamed the US for destroying its pillars, saying Washington either directly violated the agreements by withdrawing from them or created conditions that made their implementation impossible.
"Washington's logic is simple. The pillars that ensured the US dominance are slipping away from under their feet. Largely because of the mistakes of the Americans themselves. … In an attempt to slow down the loss of the hegemon's position, they relied on force. Hence the pursuit of military superiority, … the refusal from restrictions in arms control," he said.
– Russia concerned over Armenia's turn to NATO
Lavrov regretted Armenia's turn to the West, saying Yerevan is "trading a time-tested alliance with Moscow for the West's vague promises."
"To justify the course of a strategic U-turn, they (Armenian authorities) blame Russia for all the troubles of the republic, including the loss of Karabakh," he emphasized.
Azerbaijan established full control over the region after launching an anti-terror operation this September.
Russian authorities persist in considering Armenia as a strategic partner, steadfast in their belief that, with political will, any challenges can be surmounted, Lavrov said.
"Trade and economic ties and industry dialogue are developing at an impressive pace between Moscow and Yerevan. This is the foundation for the relations between the two countries, as well as the most important support for the stability of the Armenian economy and the well-being of the Armenian population.
"The rapid growth of the republic's GDP in recent years is largely due to cooperation with Russia and Yerevan's membership in the Eurasian Economic Union," he added.
According to Lavrov, the optimal path for Armenia to navigate the current challenges lies in the implementation of the trilateral agreements with Azerbaijan and Russia.
The minister criticized talks questioning the necessity of the presence of the Russian military base in the Armenian city of Gyumry, stressing that for many years the Russian military has been ensuring peace and stability in the region.
He also voiced concern over Yerevan's increasing military cooperation with NATO.
"This year, Armenia has participated in several dozen events with the alliance. It continues to modernize its armed forces according to NATO standards, and the republic's military is being trained in a number of states of the North Atlantic Bloc," he said.
The minister warned that "the true goal of NATO is to strengthen their positions in the region, create conditions for manipulation according to the 'divide and rule' scheme."
"I hope Yerevan is aware that deepening cooperation with the alliance leads to the loss of sovereignty in the field of national defense and security," he said.
Pashinyan Warns of ‘Politicizing’ the EEU
Armenia will take over the rotating chairmanship of the Eurasian Economic Union from Russia, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced in St. Petersburg on Monday as the Russia-led bloc convened its annual summit.
“We hope for the support and effective cooperation of the member states in the implementation of the tasks set before us. It is symbolic that the presidency of Armenia coincides with the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on the EAEU,” Pashinyan said in his address to the summit.
Pashinyan’s arrival in St. Petersburg on Monday ended his and the Armenian government’s effective boycott of the Russia-led groups’ previous summits.
During his address to the EEU summit, Pashinyan decried attempts to politicize the economic bloc’s activities based on what he called “geopolitical” reasons.
Citing the EEU’s founding treaty signed by Russia, Armenia and the other member-states in 2013, Pashinyan said that the EEU must not have a “political and especially geopolitical agenda.”
“We continue to regard [the EEU] as such and to develop partnership within the framework of our economic cooperation in this context, seeking to thwart all attempts to politicize Eurasian integration,” Pashinyan said. “The EEU and its economic principles must not correlate with political ambitions.”
“The basic freedoms of trade and integration cannot and must not be limited due to political considerations. This would definitely lead to an erosion of the fundamental principles of the union,” he added.
YEREVAN, DECEMBER 20, ARMENPRESS. Azerbaijan is doing everything to avoid signing a peace treaty with Armenia, Armenian Member of Parliament Armen Khachatryan has warned.
“Yes, Azerbaijan has a negative disposition, perhaps Azerbaijan isn’t interested in a peace treaty. Azerbaijan understands that a result [of a peace treaty] Armenia’s economy could grow rapidly, and there could be serious prospects for Armenia’s development. They study this very well and they draw conclusions. Naturally, they aren’t too excited over Armenia having such a prospect. Today we see that Azerbaijan is doing everything in order to avoid signing a peace treaty or signing the kind of treaty that would be clearly guaranteed. Even if it’s signed, Azerbaijan is now doing everything in order for it to be at least like the November 9 document, to be able to breach all terms, which we have witnessed and which we will not allow. But this isn’t up to Azerbaijan, there is the international community, the West, there are many countries, and of course today there is a lot of diplomatic pressure on Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan must be brought to the constructive field,” Khachatryan told reporters.
In a decisive move towards addressing persistent border disputes, Armenia has affirmed the terms of engagement for a commission on delimitation with Azerbaijan. Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan anticipates that official Baku will endorse the regulations today, marking a collaborative stride towards resolution of the contentious border issues that have plagued both nations in the wake of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The establishment of a commission to delimit the borders between the two nations is seen as a significant step towards mitigating the post-conflict tension. The confirmation of the rules of engagement by Armenia and the expected approval by Azerbaijan reflects an earnest commitment from both sides to address and resolve the border disputes that followed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The document outlining the rules and regulations of the commission will be published simultaneously by both countries, signifying a united front in this pivotal effort.
(Read Also: Armenian Prime Minister Expresses Regret and Promises Resolve Over Captives’ Issue)
In an unrelated development, Armenia has been grappling with a surge in antisemitism. Grigor Hovhannissian, a former Armenian diplomat, highlighted numerous antisemitic incidents and the proliferation of hate speech in the country. The only synagogue in Armenia has been the target of arson attempts, and antisemitic comments have been made by Armenian officials. Armenian media outlets have also been accused of promoting antisemitic views and drawing comparisons between the situation in Karabakh and the Holocaust. The Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism, along with professional media assets and think tanks, have documented and reported on the exploitation of the Holocaust for propaganda purposes in Armenia.
(Read Also: Azerbaijan Nears Finalization of Stance on Armenia’s Peace Proposal)
In a separate development, Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to exchange detainees for the first time since the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This agreement has seen the return of 32 Armenian POWs, while several high-profile Armenian detainees remain in Azerbaijan. The United States has expressed its willingness to mediate between the two nations, reinforcing its commitment to maintaining peace in the region.
17:14, 8 December 2023
17:17, 8 December 2023
YEREVAN, DECEMBER 8, ARMENPRESS. For the third year in a row, AraratBank was recognized as the Best Sub-Custodian Bank in Armenia by the professional team of the premium international magazine Global Finance.
At its 21st annual Best Sub-Custodian Bank Awards ceremony held on May 30, 2023 in New York, Global Finance announced its selections in seven regions and more than 80 countries, territories and districts.
Global Finance’s editorial board considered market research, input from expert sources and entries from banks to select the institutions that reliably provide the best services in local markets and regions. The criteria included customer relations, quality of service, competitive pricing, smooth handling of exception items, technology platforms, post-settlement operations, business continuity plans and knowledge of local regulations and practices.
Global Finance also obtained input from users of sub-custody services. Performance was judged over the period covering January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022. “Securities servicing continues to evolve as its underlying technology advances by leaps and bounds,” said Global Finance founder and editorial director Joseph Giarraputo. “Global Finance’s Best Sub-custodian Bank Awards recognizes organizations that provide innovative and efficient offerings to clients from around the world.”
16:53, 6 December 2023
YEREVAN, DECEMBER 6, ARMENPRESS. The problem at the Upper Lars checkpoint pertaining to Russia banning an increasing number of Armenian export freight trucks from entering the country has been resolved, Economy Minister Vahan Kerobyan has said.
He said the issue related to stronger supervision administered by the customs.
“At this moment the vehicles are mostly passing through the Upper Lars checkpoint. The problems emerged as a result of increased control at the Lars checkpoint, after which we initiated discussions on various levels, regarding the problems and solutions. The clearance of vehicles got restored Saturday,” Kerobyan said in parliament when asked on the matter.
The minister said that the government prioritizes that Armenian companies have high-quality products, not just for exports but also local consumption. “We are resolute in this regard, so that goods produced in Armenia become high-quality, high-standard in a short period of time,” he said.